When Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas, he was convinced that Cuba was really China and that San Salvador in the Bahamas was Japan, but, to his explorers’ eyes, Hispaniola meant only one thing... gold. So it was that, after his boat ran aground there on Christmas Day 1492, Hispaniola became home to the first modern European colony in the Americas.
More about language travel in Dominican Republic
Hispaniola is now two countries: Haiti in the west and the Dominican Republic – not to be confused with nearby French-speaking Dominica – in the east. While Haiti has suffered misfortune and mismanagement, the Dominican Republic has retained a kind of purity, with its forests still thriving and tourism bringing a welcome flow of investment into the country. The modern country is a vibrant mix of black, white and mestizo people and cultures and an increasingly popular tourist destination.
It’s little wonder the tourists came; heavenly beaches, warm water and a goodtime atmosphere are on offer throughout the Dominican Republic. The gentle sound of Merengue spills out from beachfront cafes and bars, while the nightclubs go on long into the night. Walk the streets of capital city Santo Domingo – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – or head out into the countryside and explore the country’s nine distinct ecological zones. Hike around Jarabacoa or Constanza, explore the deserts of Bahoruco, Bani, or Barahona; you will not be disappointed.
In the 500 years since Columbus arrived, visitors have come from all corners of the world, all leaving their cultural ingredients in the Caribbean soup. Learn Spanish in the Dominican Republic with ESL and discover the Americas for yourself. Return to introduction...